Wadena-Deer Creek's Kira Sweeney captured the Johanna Olson Invitational for the third straight season on Sept. 3 at the Whitetail Run Golf Course in Wadena.
It was the first time that Sweeney ran the race with a Wadena-DC jersey on. Her previous entries into the race came as a member of the Staples-Motley Cardinals. The junior runner set a new personal record on the course when she finished with a time of 19 minutes, 49.3 seconds.
"It went pretty well. It's my first time breaking 20 on this course, specifically," Sweeney said. "I was definitely a lot faster than I was last year."
Sweeney led the way for the Wolverines at their season-opening race at the Brave Like Gabe Invitational with a third place finish, now she followed it up with a first place finish, besting last year's time by more than 30 seconds. She finished the race with a time of 20:24.3 in 2018.
"My game plan was to improve on my time from my last race," Sweeney said. "I didn't quite do that, but I definitely improved on my time from last year. "
Sweeney said she enjoys running for the Wolverines and that her teammates have been great. to compete with.
"It feels pretty good. I definitely like the team," Sweeney said. "It's been great and they have been really welcoming. They are great people to run with and be around."
Sweeney said her end of the season goal is to break 19 minutes, and she said she is ahead of where she thought she would be at this point in the season.
Sweeney helped the Wolverines to their highest finish as a team since 2000 as the Wolverines finished second in the race as a team. Little Falls captured the team title with 39 points, while Wadena-DC was second with 51. Ottertail Central came in with 105 points for third, followed by Pillager in fourth and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in fifth.
Ally Pavek used a strong kick at the end and finished in seventh place for the Wolverines. She finished with a time of 22:55.9. Johanna Brunsberg earned a top 15 finish with a time of 23:24.4 for 12th place.
Emma Mehl came in 15th place for the Wolverines as the Wolverines put four runners in the top 15. She finished with a time of 23:34.8. Emma Ries was just outside the top 15, finishing in 16th place with a time of 23:39.8.
Hailey Peterson finished in 34th place overall with a time of 26:15.4, while Emma Bushinger came in 36th place, ending with a time of 26:24.1.
Nevis' Jade Rypkema came in second place with a time of 20:15.4, while Long Prairie-Grey Eagle's Caroline Kuehne came in third at 21:25.4. Little Falls had a pair of runners in fourth and fifth place with Courtney Loeffler at 21:47.7 and Abigail Borash at 22:07.9.